Taking my own advice

While record-searching/sorting, I stumbled upon this that I wrote to a client many moons ago, re. dating as a single parent esp. when your child is very young.

The constant search for “the next relationship” to the extent that parenting is put on the back burner is some messed up shit, but so is the pendulum swinging too far in the other direction where everything else gets put on the back burner and the child is the center of the universe. You don’t want to find yourself with an adolescent or young adult child one day who has an overdeveloped sense of entitlement to being at the center of everything you think and feel and do and who will punish you for daring to consider a relationship that is not centered on them one day.

Hmm… that’s pretty funny. I got to learn all the words to that song myself as a parent. Probably should have taken that advice I was dishing out…

Also this:

Martyrs don’t make good mothers. They just make money for therapists.

Hope that client spent the last 10 years balancing all that stuff a little better than I ultimately managed to 🤨 ‘Cause this stuff? Was a huge component of the misery/chaos crescendo that led up to my falling down and not managing to get back up for a few years, actually. I’ve been so focused on math and file folders I kinda forgot about getting kicked in the teeth by this crap.

I hardly ever meet anyone in my life who comes close to being my match in stubbornness. Some might call it bull-headedness. My grandmother certainly did! But my kid? Holy shit, y’all. She’d rather have been grounded *for an entire school year* than cave when she’d set her mind on not doing whatever it was I wanted her to do. Good times.

Parenting is not for the weak!

[reminder: i mostly update the Seraphin Station blog with new stuff. I mostly edit things that are already here on this blog rather than add new things so I can gradually make a coherent and less confusing whole out of the various blogs and sites I’ve got stuff posted/stored on. so if you want to read the latest, follow Seraphin Station, and consider signing up for the mailing list as well. I have all kinds of subscriber-only goodies going on with that.

And remember, if you’re a client/customer from 2015 whose stuff fell between the cracks and you want to know what I’m doing about it, there’s a whole FAQ devoted to that at Seraphin Station, too.]


There is only so much Twitter I can handle before I start to feel anxiety shredding the edges of my consciousness, and I have to stop before I let it take me someplace where I’m useless.

This is esp. critical right now because my entire freakin’ personal narrative, professional identity, whatever kind of trajectory or sense-making is all snarled around this huge nasty tangled up mess of what “usefulness” even is/means/does anymore. Inertia and anxiety – and exhaustion, to be fair, and probably some vitamin D deficiency stuff – kept me effectively paralyzed for about four years. I did an intense residency in learned helplessness. Everything I’d once known in my bones to be true, to be reliable, to be wisdom I could use to navigate anything… all my old strategies, all my old mantras… everything broke down. I couldn’t make it go again. I couldn’t adjust my vision to correct for what I knew was distorted thinking, and nobody could do it for me, either.

It probably wouldn’t take much for me to go right back there. I can’t afford to do that. I can’t afford to waste any more time.

It’s just that now I’m not always entirely sure how best to prioritize All The Things. There are a lot of Things. And my ability to assess and categorize and prioritize is probably not quite back up to fighting shape.

So I can only spend so long catching up on Twitter or scanning Facebook. I only have so many emails in me in one afternoon before things start to feel shaky and I have to go outside and pull some weeds or something. I am going to have to fumble my way towards figuring out what a sustainable work-life balance even looks like now, and I think my entire perspective on and relationship with the concepts of what work is worth and what vocation is and what it means to be useful and meaningful and how to tell when you’re pushing something too hard or getting stuck in minutiae … all of that is fucked up and needs detangling/redoing/something.

I had one strategy before. Work hard and know everything you can know. If shit isn’t going great, work harder and know even more. It never failed me in over 40 years.

Until it did. I don’t have another strategy, though.

I started thinking today, “Maybe I should get a reading. My own perspective has been skewed for years. Just a perspective check wouldn’t be amiss.” I went and looked to see who was still around at AIRR, and a lot of the folks I’d have once confided in aren’t there anymore, and I started getting sidetracked reading all the profiles of all the new (quote unquote – they probably aren’t new at all lol) people and looking at all the book titles folks have come out with…

and had to steer myself back to what I was supposed to be doing in the first place instead of falling down a rabbit hole…

and realized I don’t exactly know what the fuck that is and that’s the whole problem. My default? Well, I have 8,000 emails to answer, better get to work.

But I can’t work that way right now. It’ll kill me.

I thought, “Maybe you should see if Rev. Fred is available anytime soon.” And then, “You should, to say hi, but you already know what he’s going to say.”And then I thought, “You know who I need a reading from? Henry fucking Rollins.”

And then, “You already know what he’s going to say, too.”

So I’m not going to push to answer 20 more emails tonight (and fail, ’cause that’s too many, and then beat myself up for failing to make enough progress…)

I’m not going to sit here and obsess about shit that makes me sad. I’m not going to try to solve anything that needs more than a night to solve it. I’m going to clean the kitchen, do some pushups, drink some water, take a spiritual bath, and remind myself that this is really all nothing more than a midlife crisis with some epically bad timing. As awful as it’s felt, it’s all pretty pedestrian. It’s just I had this weird isolated space here on the edge of the state where I don’t leave the property for months at a time and my sense of perspective can get way screwy before I realize it. So it can *sound* a lot worse in my head than it necessarily is.

So my center of gravity has shifted a little is all. I just need to find it again, get the blood flowing, and rebuild some muscle mass, figuratively speaking, until I’m not so wobbly. I can’t do that sitting down – gotta move around and try things out. Just have to avoid getting bogged down when things don’t always work the first time (or the second time)…

This has to be the right direction. Because *there isn’t another fucking direction.*

Sweat. Drink water. Take a bath. Stop writing yourself into some dismal existential novel and look around. Listen. It’s not just you. It’s all these people, too, and that’s the part you somehow aren’t hanging onto. So maybe you do need some Twitter and some Facebook. Just maybe smaller servings, ok?

why I’m sort of “out of the loop” a bit lately

I’ve had a few emails and conversations lately that lead me to believe I might be accidentally giving off the wrong vibe lately.

Regular readers know I haven’t been around quite as much, and regular customers know that I’m not currently offering "always in stock" stuff on ebay (so oils, powders, bath salts, and mojo bags are only available on the website for now – ebay only has the unusual or more limited stuff, or stuff that isn’t on the website yet).  Regular clients know I am not taking on much new work now, certainly nothing with tight deadlines, and new clients are getting referred to other workers.

I have not gotten mortally ill or injured – I have had some ongoing back and hip problems for a long time, and they have been flaring up the past few months, but I have been in physical therapy for a bit over a month now and that is finally really making a difference.  So that contributed to my "stepping back" a bit, but that’s not something that’s a huge worsening problem (but thanks for your concern, y’all are sweet), thanks to my genius of a physical therapist.

In fact, I have had quite a few projects going on, despite my scaling back lately:

cut for pictures